Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Newbie training...

With the newbie ride earlier this month, some nice sunny days, the OSU Visibility Day, some nice sunny days, chowder runs to the coast, some nice sunny days, Saturday morning rides to the coffee shop and a few bike nights, Brandy hinted to me about getting her own bike. Oh Boy!!! All I had to do was find the bike and have her pull the trigger. So off we went on an official, sit on some bikes, search. I've been perusing the Craigslist ads, Cycletrader website and bike shop sites but this was the real thing, this was the window of opportunity I've been waiting for. She gave me the parameters, it had to be small, un-intimidating and manufactured within this century. I think she was a little apprehensive when I was showing her a Craigslist ad for a 1982 Honda Cm250,

and although a 1977 Kawasaki KZ250 really piqued my interest (the ad is gone so I'm sure it was a good deal) this was for her bike.

We drove North to Salem on Saturday, checked a few shops and came upon an 07 Suzuki S40, but it was just outside our budget.

She fell in love with the new Suzuki TU250 but again, fiscal responsibility prevailed.

So off to Portland we go to check out some 'demo' Nighthawks. Which turned out to be training bikes, so every visible surface had been scratched and had the telltale dent in the tank. Fortunately, they also had an S40 and a TU250 we could compare side by side with the 250 Nighthawk. We hummed and hawed and went home knowing that a better Nighthawk existed somewhere.

A quick Sunday morning Craigslist search revealed a silver 2006 Nighthawk 250 in Beaverton with just over 800 miles on it. A brief email and a phone call later we were in the car headed back up to PDX. It was a great little bike in new condition sans a few minor scratches and I knew it'd clean up well. After giving it a quick inspection and getting the nod from its new owner I was riding it down the back roads toward home.

Although a bit small for me, this little gem was starting to impress with every mile. It does keep you busy shifting around town but once up in fifth on the highway it just motored along at 60 mph happily sipping fuel at 70+mpg. The 80 mile ride home didn't drain the tank and after 100 miles more of training rides I took it to work today just so I could use up any old gas that may be in there. Assuming the previous owner reset the tripometer at the last fill up, it now reads 216 miles.

It seems to suit her well...

and she doesn't think I can see her smiling...

but it is great when she asks me to go for a ride.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

OSU Motorcycle Visibility Day

I took the day off work today, to hang around a bunch of motorcycles, motorcyclists and soak up the sun. Today was Motorcycle Visibility Day at Oregon State University and although I am not a student nor a faculty member I was invited as a visitor.

It was a great turnout of 59 bikes and even though some riders had to hussle off to work, several of us were able to stick around and answer questions and extend invites for group rides.

Team Oregon was there to promote rider training while the Oregon State Police made their presence known.

BMW of Oregon brought two bikes up from Eugene and Cullen from RidewithGPS was in attendence as well as Women in the Wind.

My neighbor's V Strom

and Jim's Ural

It was a beautiful sunny day albeit the breeze was chilly, I was surrounded by bikes, talking to riders and I wasn't at work!!!


Monday, May 18, 2009

OVM Show and Swap Meet

It was a beautiful weekend for the Oregon Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet, nothing but sunshine with temperatures in the low 80ºs. Saturday morning a group of us met at Creekside Coffee before heading over to the fairgrounds for the vintage ride. There was a pretty good turnout...

Bob, Sean, Brandy and I stayed with the ride while Stacy and Rick from our group went on ahead. The ride started off great and with Brandy riding pillion was able to snap some pics. This we learned is not an easy task while riding on the back of a motorcycle, especially with the constant acceleration and braking during a large group ride. I think she did a great job for her first try.

This is Sean on his Triumph Thruxton

Bob took off with the lead and we were unable to snap a pic of him and his CBRXX Blackbird.

We stopped once we got out of town to regroup and rode a total of about 30 miles before we stopped in Brownsville for gas. I snapped a pic of my Trobaritz.

The gas stop...

The problem with riding with such a large group is the slow going and long rest stops. We were probably at the Chevron for half an hour before we got rolling again. Sean and I just couldn't get in the zone and were constantly on the brakes so we called Rick and Stacy, got thier approximate location and when we reached them we bailed and went for lunch. This is the vantage point Rick and Stacy found and caught Bob waving as rode by.

and Sean again

It was sure nice to ride with a small group of friends you know and we made good time into town for a late lunch. This is a great ride for those with vintage bikes that don't get out very often and I am sure it is a lot of work to put this together, but for those of us who ride all the time on modern bikes, this was not our cup o' tea. It did however encourage me to drag out the old Kawasaki KZ900LTD and get her running again and I'll post more on that later.

Sunday was the Show and Swap Meet and it was a better turnout than last year. I made it down the block with the KZ but forgot the camera, so these next pics are first from Rick.

Brandy's boss's son-in-law Schuyler came down from Portland.

A few of my favorites from Sean's site

and a link to TJ Rubley's pics


Sunday, May 10, 2009

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

First thing first, "Happy Mother's Day" I can't believe it is the 10th of May already and a busy month it is.

I wrote in my last post of the swap meet at Premier Motogear, it was a small event threatened by rain showers and I was able to catch up with other riders yesterday who attended and heard of their finds and buys. It was a great event and bargains were found.

Wednesday evening was Bike Night. We have been getting a greater turnout every month and seeing some new faces too. We are averaging about 12 riders or more every month and not always the same people, if everyone we met at bike night showed up at once we'd fill the house.

The 2009 Mid-Valley Newbie Ride was coming up Saturday and I hadn't had a chance to ride the route prior so Friday evening three of us went out to scout for hazards, gravel and so I could familiarize myself before leading the group the next day. Saturday was a huge success, we had close to 18 bikes for the ride and split up into two groups. I lead the first group and Stacy was our sweep, while Cullen from RidewithGPS lead the second group.

Here is our morning briefing:

Our first group at the lunch stop:

The second group of bikes:

The customary food pic:

Stacy, trying Elton's DRZ400 on for size, while Brandon and Elton stood by for 'support':

and everyone together at the destination "Premier Motogear"

It seems we always get caught by one 'elderly person' and today was Doug's turn, I don't think he saw him coming:

And finally Kyle and Jessica posed so Doug could could show his wife two up is possible on an R1:

It was a great day, a great event and thanks to everyone for helping me and Stacy pull this off. It was so successsful we are talking about putting another one together soon. In the meantime stay tuned for the following May events I plan to attend:

Oregon Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet

OSU Motorcycle Visibility Day

Oregon Garden Motocycle Show and Shine EDIT: This date has change 3 times from the 30th to the 23rd and now the 16th which makes it difficult to follow, promote and conflicts with the Oregon Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet and Florence Rhody Days.
Psst, Oregon Garden, nothing is happening in June, you dummies.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

April showers bring....

....May showers. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and I thought Spring was finally here but wait, it wasn't quite the weekend. The rains came in last night with a glimmer of hope this morning that they would subside for the weekend, you know, get it out of its system overnight. But alas, down it comes.

May is a busy month for motorcyclists, there are several events happening today and throughout the month of May. There are three going on today:

BikePac - Capital Thunder Rally - Motorcycle Awareness Day. Hundreds of bikes flood the State Capitol steps to raise motorcycle awareness.

5th Annual BMWRO/Motogear Swap Meet- Premier Moto Gear of Oregon. 414 Queen Ave. SW - Albany Oregon 97322
Description: Bring your unwanted motorcycle gear and parts, or motorcycles to sell. Enjoy refreshments and comaraderie. Held rain or shine. Hosts: Don and Debbie Weber.

Bike Fest in Cottage Grove

Sure hope we don't get too wet today. I am off to meet the gang for coffee and check out the swap meet. Pics to follow.

EDIT: Not a bad turnout considering the weather and other activities happening today.

It was a small crowd, but I met with some fellow riders I know and met others I didn't. And that is what it is all about.